Dreaming of a vacation? Then look for ways to cut your expenses and make your vacation dream a reality. Indeed, it might be easier than you think.
Moreover, spending less and saving more doesn’t mean you need to stop having fun. There are plenty of simple things you can do to save money without major sacrifice, including these seven tips:
1. Go Store-Brand
It might not seem that way, but many store-brand items are nearly identical to the name-brand items we tend to buy. The only difference lies in the packaging. In that vein, skip the name-brand — and often pricier — cereal, soda and yogurt options and instead buy a generic equivalent. After all, since you’re buying nearly the same item but with less flashy packaging, you likely won’t notice a difference in quality.
2. Cut Your Cable Bill
These days, with so many online TV-streaming service options, ditching cable seems to be a no-brainer. Knowing this, cut the proverbial cord and instead watch your favorite shows, movies and more using services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney Plus. New users often receive free introductory trials to these subscription services, so keep racking up the savings as you test out new platforms.
3. Retool Your Car Insurance
You don’t need to buy a cheaper car or move out of state — or out of the country — to save money on car insurance, so stop Googling, “How much is car insurance in Toronto?” While utility and service bills never go away, you can certainly look for better car insurance rates with a little insight and know-how. So, give your auto insurance an overhaul and know that some insurance companies offer discounts if you pay a monthly rate or a lump sum every six months.
4. Make Your Own Coffee
Over time, going through the Starbucks drive-thru five days a week can really add up. But while some people need a cup of Joe to wake up and feel themselves in the morning, there are other ways to get your fix without spending a lot of money.
For instance, buy a coffee maker or Keurig so you can brew your own coffee at home or bring a thermos to sip from in your car before heading out the front door. This way, you can still support your caffeine fix on your way to work — and more easily resist the coffee shop temptation.
5. Cancel Your Gym Membership
You don’t have to ditch working out — just the pricey gym membership. Now, if you live in an apartment complex or have a gym at work, you can save a good chunk of money by taking advantage of these facilities. Then again, you could also create a home gym by investing in new exercise equipment and weights of your own for long-term cost savings.
6. Try Carpooling to Work
Driving to work each day is a drag. To feel less frazzled in the mornings, stop the solo commute and share it with your co-workers. Think about it: You can skip the traffic and parking hassles, all while building better rapport and bonding with the people you spend a considerable amount of time every day.
To get started, find out who lives in your part of town and then choose different days of the week that either you or a co-worker will drive to work. Ultimately, you won’t have to spend as much on gas or car maintenance.
7. Skip Dining Out
Going out to lunch and/or dinner is fun, but it also tends to be expensive. With that in mind, re-create your favorite restaurant-quality meals at home and/or reduce the number of days you eat out to reap huge cost savings. By doing so, you won’t need to worry about driving in traffic, finding a parking space, waiting in line, or dealing with bad service. Who knows? You may even discover a new hobby.
Count Your Pennies
Cutting costs doesn’t mean you have to skip the things that make life enjoyable; it means finding easy substitutes so you can keep doing the things you love. From finding a better car insurance option and carpooling to work to skip dining out and instead eating more at home, you’ll see how fast these simple adjustments add up.